Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS Review

When you are fishing from a kayak, the only thing you want is comfort and stability so you can remain patient without having to worry about going overboard or drifting away from your catch. Fishing in a kayak could be the next step in your journey as an angler

When you are trying to get to the hard to reach fishing spots you need a stable kayak you can rely on, not only is your chances of a bit affected, but also your safety.

Finding the right kayak for your specific fishing situation can be confusing and complicated, sometimes you need a little help so that you can survey this market for the product that suits you.

That product could just be the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss, a fishing kayak that helps you reach uncharted waters and territory with ease. We have reviewed this product so that you can get back on the water in no time.

The Specs

If you are a numbers man, the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss is 10 feet in length, 30 inches in width and 44 pounds in weight when empty and unmanned and a height of 15.75 inches. The capacity of this fishing kayak is around 250lbs when full. The structure is based on a rigid hard shell.

The solo seating configuration is a ‘sit on top’ design or what is referred to as an open cockpit, and is designed for an adult of any skill level to man the kayak.

Made from extremely durable dent-resistant high density polyethylene, this kayak is a rugged vehicle that will last many fishing adventures.

The polyethylene is reinforced with Sun Dolphin’s patented Fortiflex formula which not only allows the material to flex, halting any pesky dents that could turn into holes, but also protects your boat from warping as a result of UV damage. This is a particularly useful feature when leaving your kayak in the sun.

The Features

It can be hard to deck out a kayak with features as the whole point of kayak design is simplicity, efficiency, and optimal engineering. But the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 has some cool features that will make your fishing life easier.

There are one swivel, and two flush, mount rod holders so that you can have multiple rods on the go to increase your chances of a catch. This also means, due to the swivel technology, that you can man one rod manually with a guarantee that the other rods will stay put.

The recessed tackle holders are made so you can reach your tackle easily and without stirring the water, although if you aren’t fishing these tackle holders are also useful storage compartments for whatever you fancy.

The most unique and saleable feature of the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 SS is the swivelable rod holder, this is what sets it apart from other fishing kayaks on the market as it makes fishing easy.

This is a particularly helpful tool for the older anglers among us who maybe don’t have the forearm or joint strength to hold the rod for a long time while still maintaining a good centre of balance 

A uniquely removable portable accessory carrier, or what most anglers refer to as a dry compartment, is located in the back tip of the kayak. The cool thing about this feature, on the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss, is that it is removable or detachable.

This means that, if you require more space, you can actually float the dry compartment and tie it to your boat so that you can fill the now empty hole with other items, while still having a dry compartment that floats behind you.

Customers said that they have used this as an extra seat when simply taking the boat out on shallow water. This would also be perfect for a floating beer cooler on those summer days.

Some customers have reported that the turning cork which allows entry into the dry compartment can be quite tight to get off initially, and that trying to reach the dry compartment from the seat can make the boat unstable.

The boat also has a non-waterproof dry compartment, many customers report that this isn’t waterproof at all and fills up like a well, but it certainly has some useful storage and uses for the handy angler.

What we love about the storage in this kayak is that everything is really close to reach and doesn’t require any risky maneuvers to access.

Comfort is key when you are fishing, this is because you are going to be sat for a long time, or hopefully a short time, but you don’t want to cause any damage to your body in the long run.

The Journey 10 solves this by providing a padded, but still light, seat and thigh pads. Not only this, but also adjustable foot braces which mean that anyone of any height can still enjoy the Sun Dolphin Journey 10.

Comfort is also really important when fishing as you don’t want to stir the water and lose any potential catches by fidgeting around.

In addition, having comfort in your yak allows you to be patient for longer when you aren’t bothered by little niggles and itches. You want to feel like you are weightless on the water so the fish don’t know what hit ‘em.

Although Sun Dolphin do attempt to increase comfortability as much as they can with this kayak, the lack of a proper seat and back support means that this kayak isn’t suited for extended trips and long expeditions, rather this should be used for a quiet afternoon fishing on the water.

Moreover, the sit-on style seat won’t protect you from cold and windy climates, nor from water that laps over the side – this is worth keeping in mind for trips of that nature.

For many, one of the most reassuring features is the self-bailing engineering which means that the boat drains itself without the use of pumps which must be manually emptied, the boat actually drains itself with the use of gravity.

The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss also comes equipped with all the usual features one might need when fishing such as shock cord deck rigging to hold in place anything you need to hand, ditty trays, paddle holder, and beverage holder so that you can easily access your water bottle without tipping the yak.

Although the seat is not raised off the floor so be prepared for a few wet bums while you are out on the water, luckily the wide seating area lets you move around and get comfortable while fishing.

Although, the width and depth of the kayak does make bracing for impact a little tricky and can result in some sore legs.

Luckily, the kayak isn’t built for long journeys on choppy water so this shouldn’t be a problem and if it is then you might need to look for a different kayak for that specific purpose.

What’s Portability Like?

Weighing only 44 pounds this is a pretty lightweight and mobile kayak which should be easy to transport for most anglers.

As this is a pretty portable vessel, it’s a great choice for the lone angler who braves the waters on their own, as only one person is needed to carry it. The retractable carrying handles really help with portability too.

Moreover, the short length of the kayak means that it would easily fit in the bed of most pickup trucks with the tailgate down. This is definitely one kayak to keep an eye out for if you want a particularly portable yak for fishing.

How Stable Is This Yak?

This kayak is designed for lakes and slow moving rivers, specifically for fishing on such a river or lake.

As a result Sun Dolphin have opted for a wide and short kayak that offers more stability than the long and narrow yaks that are more suited to faster moving water.

The Journey 10 SS should be able to handle most moderate currents but use a bit of common sense when deciding where to float your boat.

For what Sun Dolphin gains from engineering the boat for stability, they certainly lose out on speed, so don’t think the Journey 10 SS will win you any races.

Some customers do report that the boat tends to veer to the left when steering.

This can be down to user error as other customers suggest this is easily combated with proper handling technique. Moreover, the boat isn’t made for long voyages anyway, so stability is the focus with steering only a secondary priority.

The Upgrade

While the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss has been discontinued, it is still available to purchase second hand from a fellow angler or on other second hand selling websites.

It’s discontinuation is merely a result of creating a newer model of the Journey series. The Journey 10 ss is still a great fishing kayak that stands up against other models and kayaks.

You might be wondering what the next upgrade is then, this is the Journey 12 ss. The Sun Dolphin Journey 12 ss attempts to solve a few issues with the Journey 10 which I have outlined already.

One particular upgrade is the seating arrangement. The Journey 12 ss comes with a nice padded seat area that protects your back and your bottom.

This allows you extra comfort which is desirable when fishing, and also means that you can have potentially longer journeys as this seating will prevent back problems as well as a sore butt.

Funnily enough, if you do prefer the boating experience of the Journey 10, but also have a Journey 12, you could simply take the seat out of the Journey 12 and put it in the 10. Although we don’t suggest buying the Journey 12 purely for a seat.

In terms of specifications, the Journey 12 is a little longer at 12 inches and heavier at 48lbs, this does make it a little less maneuverable in the water as the Journey 10 and a little harder to transport.

The shape of the Journey 12 makes it much more ‘sharp’ and ‘pointy’ which does mean that you break waves a lot easier, but the long keel is knife-like and helps increase speed. So this presents a hard decision for the angler to weigh up stability with the Journey 10 with the speed of the Journey 12.

In response to the perhaps small storage on offer with the Journey 10, the Journey 12 has a lot more storage capacity especially on the bow which can be a selling point for some anglers.

The Mods

The kayakers of the world love a good modification, and I don’t think it should be discouraged. While you may void your warranty, certain modifications could make the Journey 10 a particularly fruitful purchase, with the right tools.

The seat is the main quandary with the Journey 10, many people chose to modify their own seat to fit the Journey 10. Firstly, make sure you get something that is mesh or a neoprene-type material so that it dries quickly, so you don’t run into another soggy bottom problem.

A seat mod also means that you can stay in the boat for longer expeditions and potentially catch more fish.

The rod holders can potentially be another issue that is solvable with modification. The rod holders, some report, are potentially too shallow and some customers fear that they will lose their rod.

One way to solve this is with PVC pipe of some sort and fitting them into the existing rod holder to provide a more stable base for your rod to go into. If you have expensive rods, this could be a mod worth considering. 

For that pesky non waterproof compartment in between your legs, some chose to put sealant around the lid to ensure water doesn’t get in and you can have another dry compartment on your kayak.

Another modification that can help with fishing is to secure an anchoring line to the kayak.

On the Journey 10 there is no mount or attachment for such an anchor. We have seen some modifications for an anchor where people have drilled into the kayak to create a sealed and secure attachment for the boat.

An anchor means that if you are sitting in one spot while you are fishing the anchor will stop you moving from that position and being taken by the current. 

The Brass Tax

The Sun Dolphin Journey 10 is a great angling kayak for the entry level angler who wants to fish on a low current lake. The Journey 10 provides some great features that set it apart from its competitors such as the pivoting angling rod that make it perfect for beginners or veterans of the fishing game.

If you aren’t planning on going anywhere fast and want a relaxing fishing experience in a stable boat then the Journey 10 is for you. Want more comfort and speed? Just look to Sun Dolphin’s Journey 12 for an upgrade.

For an entry-level angling kayak, that doesn’t break the bank, the Sun Dolphin Journey 10 ss is the purchase for you.